112794404055798702

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Hi Erin.

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I'm Josh.

——

SUMMER MOVIES OTHER THAN MARCH OF THE PENGUINS THAT CONSERVATIVES ARE RALLYING BEHIND.
BY MATT LOKER
– – – –

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The imaginative children's tale imparts the values of family togetherness, honesty, and avoiding premarital intercourse. "For example," writes James Dobson, "Violet gives in to the temptation of chewing gum, and becomes abnormally fat (representing pregnancy). The other three children similarly give in to temptation, and they all become dead (representing a social disease)."

Wedding Crashers

This bawdy comedy fits in neatly with conservative values, such as heterosexuality. "[Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson] have sex with many, many women," observes syndicated radio host Michael Savage. "Homosexual men can't do that, on account of science."

Batman Begins

Bruce Wayne is the wealthy playboy son of an influential plutocrat. Later in life, he makes amends for his father by taking a lone-wolf-vigilante-justice approach to morally dubious acts of violence. Conservatives applaud the film's use of a tricked-out Hummer as the Batmobile, which was totally sweet.

The Dukes of Hazzard

Not once is the word "evolution" used in this movie. Many pundits proclaim this to be a tacit endorsement of intelligent design. "This is by far the best evidence yet," exclaims a joyous Pat Robertson on The 700 Club.

Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith

Presents strong direct evidence for Christianity, owing mostly to Natalie Portman, who must be an angel. "Aw, shucks," says conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity, who sheepishly lowers his head and draws an arc in the dirt with his shoe.

Madagascar

No one is aborted in this movie.

Pitchfork shows the love for Neutral Milk Hotel and Wolf Parade. I concur.

the real orange county

WHY CEDRIC, WHY?
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It’s like the kid that was hit by the train in Stand By Me.

The rock feud of the century: Fall Out Boy v. The Killers.

Tee-hee. The titles of these lectures already offend me.

Well, Jake, I spy a hickey. Could it be from Heath?
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Well, since Heath has to prove his uber-heteosexuality after making out with Jake, he is starring as the titular role in Cassonova.

You know what looks good? North Country. Kind of the Accused meets Monster meets Roseanne. (Remember when they worked in that plastics factory with George Clooney?)

Also, Flightplan was a letdown. Should have been called Panic Room 2: Panic at 30,000 feet. Although it did have Peter Sarsgaard playing himself, someone with a lazy eyelid and a child molester’s voice. Love him. It made me certainly blow chunks thinking about my upcoming flight to Florida.

free your mind and the rest will follow

Hey, I have been doing this blog thing for a year now. When I look back on all the past entries…I realize that nothing much has happened in a year. This time last year, I had just discovered Bloc Party, I talk about my lovely coworkers, and Brandon was still drawing pictures of us as Harry Potter characters.

Sadly, the outfir I will wear to the wedding next weekend was purchsed almost entirely at Target. What the hell is wrong with me. Shit, I'm old. Well, despite being major donors to the Republican party, they do have gender neutral bathrooms. Well, a unisex bathroom really. But it's a start!!

So cute! [Discliamer: That's not me in the picture]

I am ten years too late, but I have begun to read Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Just what I need, to read about college students.

ch-ch-ch-changes

Erin sent me the text of an old evite from a No Andrews Band “concert”.

The No Andrews Band promotional staff proudly invites you to join them for a special evening with the stars themselves. The actual No Andrews Band trio (plus the other) will not only “perform”, but will also drink a lot, fight amongst themselves, and bitch-out their loved ones while ignoring everyone else. The band goes on at 10:00.

But Wait!!!

Just in case that’s not enough, Amy Haas will arrive and remain pantless, exclusive, limited edition TNAB promotional merchandise will be available, and Thomas Sizemore, former star of ABC’s hit drama series “China Beach”, will be there to “keep his eyes on the ladies”.

So, pick and follow your own outrageous theme (FYI – Justin already has dibbs on both perfection and Judy Huddleston), bring some liquor/beer, and come ready to witness what is sure to be something.

Oh, this brings me back. Was this one where I spent an hour in the bathroom dry heaving? Or the one where I screamed at Matt Mulkey [edit- that was at one of my freaky roommates “party” at my house]? Or where I wore a gold lame shirt? That might have been at all of them. This was also a time when jokes about one’s mother was the height of fashion. Believe it or not, the merchandise part was true.

Wow, remnants of the website still remain. Apparently Erin and I found it HI-larious to call Mike Hererra of Mxpx by my brother’s name. w.t.f.

blue sky on mars

God, I love this kind of stuff.
http://www.livejournal.com/community/howtheylooknow/

I am also stoked because after searching endlessly (i.e., waiting for someone to post it on the internet) I finally secured the SHout Out Louds' Howl Howl Gaff Gaff.

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It is quite good. How can anything with a moog be bad? And I am not just saying they because they are bangable.

I think the Killers and Phantom Planet had a big orgy and birthed this band, and then adopted some of the women from Tilly and the Wall. But ah, the music. I've even kept it uploaded, so this link will last for seven days.

Also digging:
Broken Social Scene, the new self-titled
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Saturday Looks Good to Me, All Your Summer Songs

Rogue Wave, Decended Like Vultures
Does Sub Pop ever go wrong?

Regina Spektor, Soviet Kitsch; I hate to say that this is growing on me.
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Calla, Collisions; Gawd I love this stuff. I like to call this genre suicide rock.

Ok, I'm embarassed to say that Fall Out Boy's Under the Cork Tree is pretty good. Great, see you at Hot Topic.

Liz Phair has another craptastic album out. It's listenable.
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finally facing my Waterloo

My faith in humanity was retored this morning when I helped the Humane Society with a fundraiser for the animal rescue in New Orleans. People gave hundred dollar donations on the spot and brought it tons of towels and other supplies. This faith was quickly destroyed when I had to run to Target/Old Navy to return items. I hate people, especially ones that work at the registers in these places.

Watched L'Auberge Espanol. Someone tell me, what was the point of this movie? Although it id represent a certain fantasy that I think a lot of people have (including me)- being young, moving to a new city, with it all full of possibilities, moving to a fun apartment with lots of hip-people that become your family, and enjoying the hotspots of the city. Does that really happen? Maybe it happened a little with DC, a little with NY. With Connecticut? Not so much. In fact, this place gets under my skin a little more each day. However, I think I have committed to being here through the end of June 2007. It makes the most sense for me professionally. Plus, my supervisor basically told me she didn't think I would find a good job if I looked this year. Although she is right.

But living adjacent to a residense hall? This is going to be an interesting two years. late last a group of residents above me decided to have a Blink-182 sing a long at the top of their lungs. Welcome to my life.

I have been pirating the music industry as usual, with some interesting results.

How fricking sweet is the band Say Hi To Your Mom? Actually it's this one guy who does all the recording.
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I'm also liking Motion City Soundtrack, although I am not a 13 year old who goes to the Warped Tour.

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I'm not going to comment on the new ones from Metric or Stellastarr* albums yet. Because, of course right now I hate them. In a week I'll be singing their praises.

Also sweet? VHS or Beta: Night on Fire.

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Next weekend i will be in DC for the WEDDING OF THE CENTURY. I am kind of nervous, because I haven't been back in so long. I am shitty about keeping in touch, and I have certainly changed, physically and behaviorally.

thegetaway1448: i am scared about next weekend
Er5inQ: why?
thegetaway1448: i am so depressed and sickly
thegetaway1448: i cannot deliver the robin that people want
Er5inQ: people will love you no matter what.
Er5inQ: and being around all your lovely friends may cheer you up a bit.
Er5inQ: besides, the robin we love is a hyperventilating weirdo.
Er5inQ: so no fears.

112750726536551308

Scalia Goes On Abortion Bender After Being Passed Over For Chief Justice
September 21, 2005

NORFOLK, VA—Saying "Fuck this shit, I'm stopping beating hearts with my bare hands," Justice Antonin Scalia, overlooked for the vacated position of Supreme Court chief justice, went on a spiteful abortion-performing bender over the weekend. "If I'm not going to be permitted a lasting judicial legacy, to hell with law and order," said Scalia, the conservative Reagan appointee who has served on the court since 1986. "I worked my ass off for 20 years, and no one cares. So, who gives a shit? Safe, legal abortions for all. Who wants one?" Scalia added that 2000 presidential candidate Al Gore "totally won that election, any idiot knows that."

sign me up

This picture was taken at NYU recently:

Is it wrong that I find that truly awe-inspiring?

The Austin City Limits Festival. Do I need another reason to move?

And no, the pictures in the last post are not really my friends. Those of you that asked are dumbasses.

And please don’t ask me again if I watched America’s Next Top Model. I missed it because I was at my improv class being hilarious. An alumni of the school I work at is actually on the show. I think she is one of the first out lesbians on the show. But what about the wrestler with the skin-eating bacteria from last season?

I am taking a “mental health” day off from work on Monday. I rarely take days off work just to sit around. I have a guilt complex about missing work usually. I’ll come in with fevers and bad colds and have to be chased out of the office by supervisors and co-workers. So, this is a new thing for me. I need to use it wisely.

Pitchfork reviews Nada Surf and interviews the New Pornographers.

spectacular views

Why oh why did I wait this long to discover Strangers With Candy? It has given me a purpose in life.

Well, I am past the time where my job gets crazy. Things seem to be slowing down, the students are getting lots of work, etc. I am sitting in my apartment woth the windows wide open and there is silence coming from both the hallways and the outside. I can hear crickets.

I think a lot of the stress has come from jme absorbing the awkwardness of the freshmen. The pressure to be social all the time and making impressions on people would wear me out and probably drive me right into a padded cell. However, my student staff is phenomenal and it really makes a difference that I hired them last year, instead of inheriting a staff that someone else hired.

I hate to admit it, but the new Franz Ferdinand album is quite delightful.

Blah blah blah. I had all these plans to write about how things are going, but I am already boring myself by thinking about it. I am just so tired of feeling so mentally burned when I get home from work that I can barely form a sentence. Maybe sometime soon I will get more inspiration.

Hey all, I’ve been keeping this thing for about a year. I was reading over all my entried and my thoughts were, where the fuck did this year go.

If you haven’t seen March of the Penguins than you are a damn fool.

Fucking Bruce Vilanch and Chastity Bono are on the next Celebrity Fit Club.
No joke.

This new trailer makes me squirm.

don’t fear the reaper

Laila has a blog…all is right with the world. She's in school in Scotland.
http://lailagonealba.blogspot.com/
My question in: laila, are you sure you are ONLY 30?????

Speaking of Laila, I will be in DC in two weeks for the wedding of the century. I haven't been in DC since….god knows when. I am equally excited and equally part dreading it. I'm being truthful. DC was such an awesome time in my life, and of course, things are not the same as they were. People change, I've changed, and I don't want anything to ruin that memory. We'll see.

So much to say, no energy to say it. I've been working 14 hours a day this week, mostly because I am on call. Plus, living right where I work has made me forget that an outside world actually exists. I am becoming the cliche I always feared I would become.

I watched Dazed and Confused tonight for the first time in several years. And after it was a one hour documentary about the making of it. Could this be another sign that I need to move to Austin?

Everything Zen

Pitchfork has basucally pissed over all the music I have been enjoying lately.

Dandy Warhols- Odditorium or Warlord of Mars
http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/d/dandy-warhols/odditorium-or-warlords-of-mars.shtml
Odditorium lays its first claim to cracked brilliance through sheer, stultifying sprawl (oh, and that off-putting title). Listeners must first wade through a glaringly unfunny spoken-word opener, the inexplicably titled "Colder Than the Coldest Winter Was Cold". Then, on "Love is the New Feel Awful", Taylor-Taylor floats whispery vocals atop a chugging spaced-out groove for its first three-plus minutes; for the next six, it's aimless guitar mutilation, "A Day in the Life" orchestral squealing, and shrill free-jazz hornfuck. The next track, "Easy", is a more concise 7:32, but this time T2 mumbles his verses into morose oblivion. "Holding Me Up" recalls the fuzzed-out alt-pop of the band's first three albums, then hits repeat for another inessential three minute outro. The 12-minute, slow-motion krautrock hum of "A Loan Tonight" is as irredeemable as its title pun. "Odditorium" is what the Dandies call their studio; a good portion of its namesake should still be on the facility's floor.

Ok Go, Oh No
http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/o/ok-go/oh-no.shtml
So okay I get it, these guys are a "fun" band, and that's great, I love fun. Why, though, does their music play by such strict rules? Their only curveballs thrown here are Beach Boys harmonies and the same augmented chord progression, and even these twists are rationed. While their debut at least sported some guilty pleasure material, Oh No is too self-conscious for serious hooks to flourish. For what it's worth, Kulash still shows a nose for catchiness on humbler, mid-tempo songs, and without it, I wouldn't be touching this album with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole. From the impeccable touchstones to the knack for melody, everything's in place for these guys. However, as Oh No's first four seconds of guitar noodling forecast, these guys simply try too hard.

you know me too well.

Holy crap. Am I that predictable? Several people have alerted me to the fact that the trailer for Brokeback Mountain is available. Um….you were all right. It does look good. And not just for the obvious reasons. it really looks well made. I've already mentally casted Clive Owen and John Stamos in the straight-to-video sequel. CNN says so too.

TORONTO, Ontario (CNN) — Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger weren't drawn to "Brokeback Mountain," the story of two cowboys involved in a homosexual relationship, by the movie's risky subject matter or the controversy it may raise.

In fact, said Gyllenhaal, those aspects of the script worked against his decision to do the film.

"I read the story and heard about it as 'the gay cowboy movie' and I immediately responded against that," he said at a press conference for the film at the Toronto Film Festival Saturday.

"[But] as soon as I heard [director] Ang [Lee] was attached, I knew it would be a different type of movie that would go beyond the confines of two guys and their sexuality towards the more difficult topic of love."

Ledger agreed.

"First and foremost, when I read the script it was one of the most beautiful stories I'd ever read," he said. "It's really refreshing to come across something like that."

So far, viewers have agreed. "Brokeback Mountain," based on a story by "Shipping News" author E. Annie Proulx, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival Saturday, that festival's top award, and has earned acclaim at Toronto. The film is slated for U.S. release December 9.

The film, which begins in the early '60s, concerns two young men, Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal), who are hired to tend sheep for a summer in Wyoming and find themselves attracted to each other. They continue to meet with each other over the years, even after their lives have gone in different directions.

Asked a question about the U.S. gay marriage controversy, the two actors said they hope the film shows a gay relationship in a matter-of-fact, unsensational light and that it contributes to tolerance.

"If it does shed light on the idea that there's real love involved … it's great," said Gyllenhaal. "When two people love each other, they love each other. And people should hold on to it as hard as they can, whether it's homosexual or heterosexual."

Gyllenhaal added said the actors' own friendship — and the quality of the script, by novelist Larry McMurtry ("Lonesome Dove") and Diana Ossana — helped them do the love scenes.

"Once you see the characters 'do it,' our real friendship and the things we share together makes it kind of easy to play the role of real friends," he said. "And the screen sex — we kind of just dove into the love scenes and dove out again just as fast as we could." He paused to some laughter. "And that was it."

Director Lee's previous films include "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "The Ice Storm," "Sense and Sensibility" and "The Hulk."


Nice sideburns, Heath.

Check out the trailer and sob.

prozac nation

So I finally finally sat myself down and forved myself to watch the steaming crap pile that is the movie version of Prozac Nation. Since the book is so near and dear to my heart, this was such an insult. Yes, Elizabeth Wurtzel is so self-involved, but I guess Christina Ricci interpreted that as screechy and shrill. The movie also used the age-old cliche of portraying mental illness- suddenly the camera shows rhe room spinning rapidly and the character starts muttering to herself. Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

Also, how kick-ass does Flightplan look (Peter Sarsgaard, holler)? Too bad I already saw it, when it was called Panic Room.

Reason #643 I can tell I am getting old: I found the Video Music Awards to be boring and I couldn't understand what anyone was saying.

I finally got around to going back to the Humane Society to volunteer, and a good thing. Half their staff is in New Orleans doing rescue work. Apparently they have secured a large shelter, and I have rescued some 800 animals. However, there are a total of three people cleaning, feeding, and running the place. Yes, THREE. People are the same old morons. They are so lookist about the animals. They have their heart set on an orange cat, and they'll find one that is basically clawing at them and hissing at their children, but they'll take that one over another cat that is proactically jumping into their laps. Idiots.

Harry in Times Square.
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nyc resources

The intention of this is really to help e-dawg get adjusted to living in nyc, but others could find it of use. Here is some online stuff that lists events and interesting todbits about nyc.

Village Voice
um, duh. This one has the best movie listings.

New York Press
another good alternative newspaper

Oh My Rockness
lists all nyc area indie rock shows. Reading this makes me cry.

NYC Citysearch
I actually found this more useful than I thought.

Gawker
Lots of PR stuff and media gossip, but I loved the celeb sightings and the weekend listing.

Gothamist
a bit more of the same.

Free Wiliamsburg
A blog about Brooklyn culture and events-very "hipster"

New York Led
Kind of confusing to navigate, but I used this mostly in the summer because it had the best compiled list of free events.

Flavorpill
Sign up for emails about upcoming events with a high hip quotient.

Barnes and Noble events
B&Ns in nyc have awesome events, espesh Union Square. I've heard tons of people speak, inclusing Laurie Notaro, Chuck Klosterman, Legs McNeil, Elizabeth Wurtzel.

Virgin Megastore events
often has awesome free events- I've seen Keane, Stellastarr*, Rhett Miller, and The Darkness perform for free, among others.

Other Music
One of the best music stores. If you still buy your music in stores….

Craigslist
of course

Talkin Broadway
This is how I saw a gazillion broadway shows for under 30 bucks.

Upright Citizen's Brigate Theater
one of may favorite places- Respecto is one of the best shows EVS.

Bryant Park Events
Bryant Park is in midtown next to the Public Library. The park is the shit, and there are pretty cool events there.

I'll post more as I think of them.

if you have a couple of hours of your life you will never get back

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I have this whole outpouring of intellectual, self-reflectual, insightectual stuff to vomit into this blog, but in the meantime, here are the other things that are important:

The Backstreet Boys video for "Just Want You to Know" is embarassingly entertaining, and I freeze whatever I am doing when it comes on VH1.

Taradise is the world's biggest trainwreck. I watch it when my self-esteem is low.
Aeon Flux movie is….I don't know yet.

Bret also hates Katie.

Stellastarr* interview.

More Lunar Park reviews…I'm only on the first few pages. I really want to savor it.

Another Bret interview.

More McSweeney's goodness:

ABERCROMBIE: A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF TOOLNESS.

BY LANCE HUFFMAN
– – – –

I am only looking. Why do I suddenly hear Jim Morrison howling between my ears? I step over the threshold from a bright, white shopping mall into a cavern selling an aspirational lifestyle of toolness. "This is the End. My only friend, the end." The pounding bass from electronic music ushers me into a store with the ambiance of a frat party and an opium den.

"Bra." A tall Aryan boy in unpleated khakis and a counterfeit Rugby shirt accosts me. He initiates some kind of tribal hand shake. His collar is popped and disjointed. His hair is stylish chaos. "Do you need help?"

"I am just looking." He knows I am lost. He looks at me with suspicion.

"I've seen ones like you. You wander from machine to machine in Gold's Gym so unsure of yourself. Yes, I've seen you. What is it that you want?"

"I am just looking."

"No, it's time for a change. You won't tell me what you want because you don't know what you need. You need this."

"What is this?"

"Our newest fragrance for bras and honeys. We call it Lechery and Lechery is bi-curious." The container is an iridescent molehill. I shrink away but he laughs to ease me. "Don't worry, bra! It's just a nipple." He points the pink glass nipple in my face.

"What is the scent?" I hesitantly allow him to spritz the sketchy substance on my arm.

"Sex." I carefully inch my nose over my wrist.

"That's what sex smells like?" He looks at me as if I were not so worldly as he.

"I forgot you would not know." He stares into the darkest corner of his trendy apparel den. "You probably think I am a poseur, but I know who you are … they sent you to bring me back. You're an errand boy with a laundry list of iniquity from capitalist robber barons."

"I swear I am just looking."

"No one looks here. You taste!" He grabs my hand and forcibly rests it on a table of marked-down Rugby shirts. "Taste. Taste. Do not be afraid. I saw your Bermuda shorts and I knew, I knew you would come here to judge us. Why don't you try on some cargo pants? Distressed jeans? You will know why I pop my collar and shun the light of the outside."

"Distressed jeans? What have you done to them?" I cry in horror as I search for an exit in this dimly lit garment jungle.

"HAHAHAHA, you're funny just like Leno! I watch Leno every night. Pure comedic genius. He may only say a Paris Hilton joke I've heard thousands of times before, but when Jay says it, I've heard humor for the first time … Bra, I have some T-shirts you need to see. I want you to buy a T-shirt because you won't just buy a T-shirt. You will buy hot young ass. Have you seen our catalog, bra?"

"The glossy soft porn?"

"Bra, you still don't understand. I want to show you the T-shirts. Let me bring you inside the circle. I can be your big brother. I can show you how the people here live. So simple, so animal, so right. Nature compels them and they act. I was once like you, but then I fought my way through the clearance racks with my machete and saw the naked majesty of this society. I knew I could never return. I left my family and my belongings. I learned how to properly fold khakis. This place is spiritual. Have you heard of the Kama Sutra? There is nothing dirty about this place."

He showed me several shelves of ambiguously raunchy T-shirts concerning crabs and beavers. One was an aged ringer shirt promoting a fake breast-milk campaign: "Teats for Tots." The tool is locked in a gaze with me. I see stars of expectation in his eyes. I will not disappoint him.

"You've got some nice double-entendres here."

"Double-entendre?" He looked intently into my eyes as if he had just rediscovered a prodigal brother. "Bra, I like your mojo. Go to the first dressing room and wait. The girl from Successories is into it, too."

"What?" Perhaps he is not familiar with the term "double-entendre," but I obey. By now the spell is too great to break. Out here, the authority of the tool is the voice of God and I hear his commandments well.

The last thing I remember: The demonic sound of techno music as a girl binds my wrists to a clothes rack. "Don't worry," she says, as migraine and music sync, reverberating through my skull. "I used to work at Spencer's Gifts." Jim Morrison's disorienting howls: "Kill! Kill! Kill!"

112579833904835580

McSweeney's is my life.

JOHN MOE'S POP-SONG CORRESPONDENCES, VOLUME VIII.
BY JOHN MOE
– – – –

Attention,
Mr. Axl Rose:
We Did Not Feel Welcome
in the Jungle.
– – – –

Dear Mr. Rose,

I am writing on behalf of my wife, Thelma, and myself to demand a full refund of the $6,500 paid for our recent "Welcome to the Jungle" safari. I know you sensed our unhappiness during the trip, but I bet you wondered if we'd actually demand our money back. Oh, yes, we certainly are, mister. You bet we are.

I must admit we had our doubts when we first signed up. But the price was dramatically lower than any other safari we looked into and, since we're seniors on a fixed income, we figured this would be our best chance to see rhinos and the like. You and your colleagues, particularly Mr. Slash, were cagey about where specifically we'd be traveling. Thelma says she thinks some of the assistant tour guides might even have been on the drugs. You might want to look into that.

Just as I did at the time, I object to your blindfolding us for the entire trip to Africa. It was uncomfortable and frightening. After looking into it and calling some other tour companies, I've learned that you were wrong about everyone doing it that way. In fact, nobody does it that way, Mr. Rose. Nobody!

The trip was a disaster from almost the beginning. True, you welcomed us to the jungle. And that was hospitable. And right off the bat you promised fun and games. But there were never any fun and games! Would it have been so hard to put together a bingo or a quick trivia thing? Then you promised that you and the other fellows could find whatever we might need. Well, we needed food and somewhere to lie down for a while. And all you offered was some stale pretzels and an old futon. Your offer to somehow acquire new diseases in exchange for extra money was very unsettling. I don't know if that's what the kids do these days, catch new diseases for fun, but that's not our idea of a good time! If anything, we were going to need extra medicine, not diseases.

Thelma and I thought right then that we should try to get out of there, but we didn't know how to get around in the jungles of Africa. You were all we had, Mr. Rose! Well, we should have just left anyway. Any encounter with a hippo or lion or monkey would have been better than staying with you. Your "learn to live like an animal" program was very hard on Thelma and me. And painful. I still don't understand why, if we were really in the jungle, we couldn't just see real animals instead of having to live like them. Also, I love my wife very much, Mr. Rose, but she is not "a very sexy girl." She is an elderly woman! And I don't think she is very hard to please; she just wants a pleasant vacation and some water occasionally.

Of course, then things got out of hand. All that business about us getting on our knees? Why, Mr. Rose? And why were you saying you were going to make us bleed? That was horrible! And I absolutely can't imagine why you would tell people in the jungle that they're going to die! That was mean and frightening! And through it all you kept saying, "Welcome to the jungle." Screaming it, really. But, frankly, I came to doubt your sincerity. I don't think you were really welcoming us at all. It was like you were trying to threaten and seduce us at the same time. That's not welcoming, and that's not what we signed up for, Mr. Rose!

One more thing: We have shown pictures of our safari to friends and relatives back here in Minnesota. And they think we were never in the jungle at all but rather in Los Angeles the whole time! It's not just the lack of animals (how could they all be sleeping, Mr. Rose?) that makes people think this; it's all the buildings, the cars with California license plates, and the people at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go nightclub. We suspect that those weren't native people dancing to tribal music, as you claimed, but "heavy-metal supporters" at a "rock show."

Please send us a full refund immediately. My best to Mr. Stradlin, Mr. Slash, Mr. McKagan, and Mr. Adler.

William Brownstone
Fergus Falls, MN

I just got a copy of the new Metric album.

This also amused me:
http://www.cyborgname.com/

In other "America is completely fucked" news…

Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies at His Home

By GINA HOLLAND
Associated Press Writer
Published September 3, 2005, 10:32 PM CDT

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening at his home in suburban Virginia, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.

A statement from the spokeswoman said he was surrounded by his three children when he died in Arlington.

"The Chief Justice battled thyroid cancer since being diagnosed last October and continued to perform his dues on the court until a precipitous decline in his health the last couple of days," she said.

Rehnquist was appointed to the Supreme Court as an associate justice in 1971 by President Nixon and took his seat on Jan. 7, 1982. He was elevated to chief justice by President Reagan in 1986.

His death ends a remarkable 33-year Supreme Court career during which Rehnquist oversaw the court's conservative shift, presided over an impeachment trial and helped decide a presidential election.

The death President Bush his second court opening within pour months and sets up what's expected to be an even more bruising Senate confirmation battle than that of John Roberts.

It was not immediately clear what impact Rehnquist's death would have on confirmation hearings for Roberts, scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Rehnquist, 80 and ill with cancer, presided over President Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999, helped settle the 2000 presidential election in Bush's favor, and fashioned decisions over the years that diluted the powers of the federal government while strengthening those of the states.

Arberg said plans regarding funeral arrangements would be forthcoming.

Bush was notified of Rehnquist's death shortly before 11 p.m. EDT.

"President Bush and Mrs. Bush are saddened by the news," said White House counselor Dan Bartlett. "It's a tremendous loss for our nation." The president was expected to make a personal statement about Rehnquist on Sunday.

The chief justice passed up a chance to step down over the summer, which would have given the Senate a chance to confirm his successor while the court was out of session, and instead Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement to spend time with her ill husband. Bush chose Roberts, a former Rehnquist clerk and friend, to replace O'Connor.

Rehnquist said in July that he wanted to stay on the bench as long as his health would allow.

The president could elevate to chief justice one of the court's conservatives, such as Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas, but it's more likely he will choose someone from outside the court.

Possible replacements include Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and federal courts of appeals judges J. Michael Luttig, Edith Clement, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Michael McConnell, Emilio Garza, and James Harvie Wilkinson III. Others mentioned are former Solicitor General Theodore Olson, lawyer Miguel Estrada and former deputy attorney general Larry Thompson.

Rehnquist announced last October that he had thyroid cancer. He had a trachea tube inserted to help him breathe and underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Details of the chief justice's illness and his plans had been tightly guarded. He looked frail at Bush's inauguration in January and missed five months of court sessions before returning to the bench in March.

On the court's final meeting day of the last term, June 27, Rehnquist appeared gaunt and had difficulty as he announced the last decision of the term — an opinion he wrote upholding a Ten Commandments display in Texas. His breathing was labored, and he kept the explanation short.

He had no public appearances over the summer, although he was filmed by television crews in July as he left the hospital following two nights for treatment of a fever.

Rehnquist had an extraordinary career, with many historic milestones.

In 1999, he presided over Bill Clinton's impeachment trial from the presiding officer's chair seat in the Senate, something only one other chief justice had done. A year later he was one of five Republican-nominated justices who voted to stop presidential ballot recounts in Florida, effectively deciding the election for Bush over Democrat Al Gore.

tell me something I don’t know

your humor style:
CLEAN COMPLEX DARK

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty–after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?–but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

You probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart – Woody Allen – Ricky Gervais

The 3-Variable Funny Test!
– it rules –

If you're interested, try my latest: The Terrorism Test

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 96% on darkness

112557612357840685

I finally decided on some new prints to put in my new apartment:


The Subway, by George Tooker; I wanted something depicting NYC without having a cheesy skyline panorama. This one was so creepy I had to have it.


Gossip, Norman Rockwell; I am surprisingly a fan of his. The NR museum is actually close by in Mass. I should go there sometime.


Drowning Girl, Roy Lichtenstein; how could I not have a Lichtenstein?

The New York Times has gone batshit crazy:

These Kids Today: A Bit Pop, a Bit Punk

By KELEFA SANNEH
Published: September 1, 2005
Onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, Hilary Duff listed her favorite acts. "Morrissey," she began uncertainly, "Rancid, A.F.I., the Murderers." She stopped short and feigned frustration. "Ugh! I always get that one wrong," she said. She meant the Killers, not the Murderers. Her boyfriend, Joel Madden from the teen-friendly punk band Good Charlotte, was standing next to her. He pretended to be embarrassed by this faux faux pas.

Over the past year, gossip magazines and gossip Web sites have been chronicling the unlikely – and, until Sunday, semi-clandestine – relationship between one of the country's biggest pop stars and one of the country's biggest punk stars. There's something satisfying about this pairing, both visually and commercially. To see Mr. Madden hand in hand with Ms. Duff is to be reminded of all the things they share, starting with their fans. (And ending, perhaps, with their mascara.) It's hard to think of a more elegant expression of the love affair between punk and pop.

Their joint appearance might have something to do with a looming milestone: Ms. Duff turns 18 in four weeks. (Mr. Madden is 26.) And, although this may come as a shock, their joint appearance may also have something to do with a publicity campaign. Ms. Duff has a new compilation CD, "Most Wanted" (Hollywood), which collects hits, remixes and three new songs. Like the other Hilary Duff albums, this one is a smash: it made its debut atop the Billboard charts last week, and this week it remains America's best-selling CD.

Until recently, the union of Ms. Duff (who is also, as millions of young viewers know, a movie star) and Mr. Madden seemed like a case of life imitating art: a musical trend incarnate as a celebrity couple. But with the release of "Most Wanted," the story takes another twist. The three new songs were written by Ms. Duff and the production team known as Dead Executives, which consists of Mr. Madden; his twin brother (and bandmate), Benji Madden; and John Feldmann, from the band Goldfinger. So now the celebrity couple is also a music-making team.

And here's the best part: the music they're making is really good.

Throughout the 1990's, the default genre for young pop stars was R&B; most of the time, teen-pop – for example, Britney Spears or 'N Sync – was merely R&B by another name. Then came the astronomical rise of Avril Lavigne, alongside kid-friendly punk bands like Blink-182, and it soon became clear that teen-punk made a sneaky kind of sense. Kids loved the hint of rebellion, parents loved the lack of sex. And as punk bands got more squeaky-clean (a trend that peaked, perhaps, with the cheerful, violin-enhanced band Yellowcard), pop stars like Ashlee Simpson got more brazen about creating their own, radically defanged form of punk.

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The best current example is Kelly Clarkson, the first "American Idol" winner, who has become one of the year's most successful singers thanks to a surprising rock 'n' roll makeover. Her big hit, "Since U Been Gone" (that's the one she performed on Sunday night, while withstanding a man-made downpour), has a huge emo chorus and guitars that wouldn't sound out of place on the Warped Tour.

With the three new songs on "Most Wanted," Ms. Duff and Dead Executives provide yet more proof that this trend may last awhile. The album's first song and current hit is "Wake Up," an infectious, Go-Go's-ish song that splits the difference between pop exuberance and punk petulance. (Or, if you like, pop petulance and punk exuberance; it's getting harder to keep this stuff straight.) "There's people talking, they talk about me," Ms. Duff begins, over an electronic beat, and the lyrics are all about how much fun she is and isn't having. Gesturing at clichés from both punk-rock ("People in motion/ Sick of all the same routines") and dance-pop ("Give me a dance floor/ Give me a D.J."), she can't decide whether she's celebrating night life or complaining about it. And as the guitars build, she keeps returning to that delicious, ambiguous refrain: "Wake up! Wake up!" Is she telling herself to get up and go? Or to look around and stop?

Ms. Duff's new songs aren't wholly unlike her old ones. Throughout her career, she has made a point of avoiding the sexy sounds and images of R&B, so she has sometimes embraced the relatively un-risqué sounds and images of rock 'n' roll. This greatest-hits CD includes her rather clumsy 2003 statement of purpose, "Girl Can Rock," where she declares, "It ain't no shock/ The girl can rock," over a laughably overblown guitar riff.

Oddly enough, the three punks in Dead Executives have helped this teen-pop star streamline her sound, focusing on simple chord progressions and even simpler refrains. "Beat of My Heart," the second great new song on the CD, has a new-wave-inspired beat and an almost perversely simple tune. Ms. Duff repeats the refrain ad nauseam, seizing upon the love of repetition that pop singers share with punk singers. And the third, "Break My Heart," is rousing, Day-Glo emo: our heartbroken protagonist drowns herself in sugary pop.

When Ms. Duff made her scripted mistake at the Video Music Awards, she was poking fun at her own lack of credibility: what does someone like her know about Morrissey, anyway? But I think she also knows that in the weird world of teen-punk, simplistic rules of musical credibility don't count for much. And besides, these three songs are much better than most of Good Charlotte's most recent album. Hilary Duff and the Dead Executives? Once, that might have sounded like a lame joke. But now it sounds like a great new band.

Also, here is an article explaining how residence halls have become health spas. Mine kind of looks like the refuge in The Island.

The New College Mixer
By BRADFORD McKEE
Swarthmore, Pa.

WHETHER they know it or not, the 75 students moving this week into Alice Paul Hall, the sleek new dormitory alongside Parrish Lawn here at Swarthmore College, are being manipulated at nearly every turn into developing a social life.

At the very least, it will be hard for anyone living in the four-story building to avoid meeting his or her neighbors. Stuart Hain, Swarthmore's head of facilities, said college officials wanted the elevator placed far from the main entrance to persuade students to take the stairs, where they are more likely to talk to one another.

The stairs rise from a bright living room lounge just inside the entrance, where people-watching is at a premium. Overlooking the lounge in the public heart of the building is the laundry room. Mr. Hain said it was brought up from the basement deliberately to serve as a social hub. Laundry may not be sexy, he said, but it does draw a crowd.

Not surprisingly, Alice Paul Hall has become the hot dorm on campus. Brendan Grady, 19, a sophomore from San Jose, Calif., pointed out the benefit of the building's several lounges. "The front lounge, especially, is a huge space," Mr. Grady said. "So I can see us throwing a couple of parties in there."

Mr. Hain said the idea was to try to enliven the hall "so there was more coming and going in the middle of the building."

It does not matter, in fact, whether students are coming or going, so long as they are not disappearing into their rooms under the hypnotic spell of the Internet and television, or succumbing to mounting pressure to map their careers before they even finish their education. If campus dorms have traditionally been built as efficient ways to stack students safely on campuses, today's dorms are changing, along with other aspects of student life, as college officials try to induce a more convivial mood on campus.

Administrators nowadays worry that the tempting gadgets students keep in their dorm rooms and in their pockets are threatening to clear the commons and kill the civic way of life on campus. College leaders are fighting student alienation by trying to recapture an ideal of higher education, wherein academic and social life are inseparable.

They are also trying to answer to leagues of ever more exacting parents, who want their children to become situated, stay busy and get out in four years. And not least, the colleges, which spent about $12 billion on construction in 2004, according to a survey conducted by American School and University magazine, recognize that every student paying for room and board ($10,000 this year at Swarthmore) helps the institution's income.

Students and administrators have always disagreed on many things, however, and the finer points of living on campus are no exception. "The administrators want community," said William Rawn, an architect whose firm in Boston designed Alice Paul Hall, with its outer walls clad in quartzite cut from a celebrated Swiss quarry, then shipped to the port of Chester, Pa. "And the students want privacy."

But for the most part, the students – freshmen and sophomores especially – will not find privacy in the new generation of campus dormitories. Many recent designs seem achingly familiar: small rooms assigned to two people, ranged along a corridor. But there are subtle devices meant to encourage students to mix. A new residence hall opening this week for 166 freshmen at Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn., has a laundry room next to a lounge with a plasma TV and a kitchen; throughout the building are nook seats and halls with a lot of natural light.

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Corridors are made for mingling. In a residence hall opened last year at the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio, the corridor widths flare at the ends to make them more spatially interesting, and study lounges inside bay windows look out onto an intimate courtyard.

Even bathrooms are being designed for sociability, said Laurence Booth, a Chicago architect whose firm, Booth Hansen, is designing a new dorm at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mr. Booth said his firm considered providing access from each of four double rooms on a hall directly into the shared bathroom, but university officials said no. Now, "in order to get to the bathroom you have to go through the hall," Mr. Booth said. "They wanted that social interaction."

Colleges have learned in recent years that they can play social matchmaker by creating specialized floors within dorms, if not entire buildings: floors for healthy living, quiet floors, language floors and honors floors, with which larger colleges in particular are attempting to create a sense of campus community.

Mr. Rawn, who has designed a number of dormitory projects, said college officials today seemed less concerned about antisocial behavior, like hurling beer bottles out of windows, than about asocial behavior – that is, "not even getting near the beer."

Students today are more professionally driven than those of a generation or two ago, in part because they have big education bills to pay, said Cathy Small, an anthropology professor at Northern Arizona University, whose book, "My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student," is being published this month by Cornell University Press under the pseudonym Rebekah Nathan. Students, Dr. Small said, are rarely alone spacing out or idly surfing the Internet.

"They're not only working, but the professional clubs and volunteer work are being very much pushed," Dr. Small said. Some students, she added, had trouble fitting in time for meals. "I found them very scheduled," she said.

Yet college students spend an increasing amount of time, about 13 hours a week, at computers, said Kevin Kruger, the associate executive director of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, in Washington, and a former dean of students at the University of Maryland.

"The campus experience is becoming more dissociative," Mr. Kruger said. The time students spend using computers amounts to that of a part-time job, "and most of it is spent on gaming and instant messaging and online dating and so forth."

Some students, though, say the administrators' worries are overblown. "Computers have entered our lives and are part of what we do," said Joella Fink, a 20-year-old Swarthmore junior from Plantation, Fla. Some students phone their friends for dinner and others send instant messages, she said, but the fact is, they have dinner face to face.

Serena Le, 19, a junior and a resident assistant, who is returning to Swarthmore from Albany, Calif., said that as much as instant messaging and the like appear to depersonalize campus life, they also facilitate it. "Now freshmen are meeting each other before they arrive on campus," she said, rather than showing up as strangers.

As always, students bring familiar belongings to help ease the shock of life away from home, said Kumara Govardhan, 21, of Bethel, Conn. Mr. Govardhan has been a resident assistant at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., for the past two years.

"I look at what the new students are bringing with them, a lot of new technologies and DVD players," he said. "They love their comfort zone. It reminds them of the things they did at home."

A pair of residence halls at Hobart and William Smith Colleges that opened in January have exercise rooms, a game area and a Starbucks cafe. Each hall also has only one entrance, noted Debra DeMeis, the dean of William Smith College.

"They can exit other ways for safety, but everyone has to use a common stairway to get in," Dr. DeMeis said, "which leads to that everyday talking to and bumping into people who live in your house."

Peter Newman, the architect whose New Haven firm, Herbert S. Newman and Partners, designed the Hobart buildings, said college officials are reacting to research that shows if students become socially comfortable on campus, then the broader imperatives of going to college take hold earlier. That obviously benefits students, but also helps their parents relax.

"Once the tuition payments started rivaling parents' mortgage payments, everyone became a much sharper consumer," Mr. Newman said.

Finally: NYU grad assistants no longer have a union. Awwww, no more full tuition for sitting pretty in an air conditioned office while the rest of us run 1000-person dorms for little pay.